Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman have been named in court documents making the case for the wrongful deaths of two pilots who worked on their new movie ‘American Made’.
The estates of Alan Purwin and Carlos Berl claim that it was down to Cruise and Liman’s appetite for increasingly ‘high-risk’ and ‘action-packed’ scenes which caused delays to production, resulting in Purwin and Berl being encouraged to fly when it was not safe.
The pilots died when their twin-engine plane crashed into mountains in Colombia. A third man, Jimmy Lee Garland, also a pilot, was badly injured in the crash, and now has no feeling in the lower half of his body.
“The demands of filming in Colombia, together with Cruise’s and director Doug Liman’s enthusiasm for multiple takes of lavish flying sequences, added hours to every filming day and added days to the schedule,” say court documents obtained by The Blast.
“Lapses in planning, coordinating, scheduling, and flight safety that were the Defendants’ responsibility resulted in an unqualified and unprepared pilot being pressed into service for a dangerous flight in a vintage aircraft across an unfamiliar mountain pass in bad weather.”
The documents also refer to an email sent by Purwin, in which he describes the movie as ‘the most dangerous project I’ve ever encountered’.
“You have no idea the exposure TC (Tom Cruise) and the entire Aerial Team is realizing every time we get in the air,” he added.
“There’s a very ‘thin line’ between keeping all aerial activities safe and having an accident. Trust me on this!”
In addition, it’s alleged that an executive producer complained to the movie’s insurance company in another missive, reading: “DL [Director Liman] and TC [Cruise] [are] adding entire scenes and aerial shots on the fly. Had to bring in Uni Safety to help wrangle them. In the last 48 hours this has become the most insane s*** I’ve ever dealt with.”
A wrongful death suit has been filed against the filmmakers Imagine Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment and Cross Creek Pictures.
The movie, which was shot on location in and around Medellin, tells the story of true story of Barry Seal, played by Cruise, a pilot who flew drug consignments for the Colombian cartels, who then turned informant to the CIA.
Neither Cruise or Liman has commented on the latest allegations.